The Butler University Performing Arts Complex
The 450-seat, Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts, which opened in April 2013, is the final piece in Butler University’s Performing Arts Complex.
Butler now has the Schrott Center, the 2,200-seat Clowes Hall, the intimate, 140-seat Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, which opened in 2004, Lilly Hall and the Lilly Hall addition, home to Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts.
Clowes Hall opened in 1963. The 2,200-seat concert hall was conceived by Dr. George Clowes and his wife, Edith Whitehill Clowes, as a center of culture and entertainment. More than 9 million people have seen a performance in Clowes Hall since it opened on Oct. 18, 1963. In summer 2013, Clowes Hall underwent significant restoration, with new seats, carpet, paint, roof over the concert hall, and sound system added.
In the past decade, Butler added to the Performing Arts Complex in several phases.
The first phase, completed in January 2003, consisted of a 47,000 square-foot expansion of Lilly Hall. This three-story structure includes three choral rehearsal halls, an instrumental rehearsal hall, two dance studios, a theatre studio, an electronic music lab, and a percussion studio. The building also includes administrative offices for the five resident performing-arts groups: American Pianists Association; Dance Kaleidoscope; Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra; Indianapolis Children’s Choir; and, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir.
The second phase, completed in December 2004, involved renovating the former chapel space in Robertson Hall to create the Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall, an acoustically sure, dedicated recital hall with high-quality recording potential. It also includes dressing rooms and pre- and post-performance reception and green room spaces. This renovation provides the University and the community with a first-class venue for musical concerts, as well as intimate lectures and gatherings.
The third phase was the Schrott Center, “a full-sized laboratory” for students and faculty to participate in and experience the arts. Theater students are able to perform for larger audiences, in a proscenium theater. Dance students are able to showcase their individual performances and choreography on the Schrott stage. The adjustable acoustics can be tailored so music ensembles can maximize their presence and tone. Students studying art and design have the opportunity to exhibit their art in the facility. And arts administration students are able to learn firsthand the ins and outs of managing an artistic venue.